"Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans."
Pastor: Eric Stricklin
Pastor Eric Stricklin comes to St. Paul UCC after serving churches in Chicago, IL; Coloma, MI; and Canton, OH. He received a bachelor degree in Religious Studies and Christian Education from Defiance College and a Master of Divinity degree from Chicago Theological Seminary. Pastor Eric loves preaching and teaching and has a deep love of theology and the bible. He sees himself as a serious theologian who doesn’t take himself seriously. He has a particular interest in intergenerational ministry and working to ensure that Christ followers of all ages feel they have an important role in the life and mission of the church. A key element of his ministry is to be out in the community, becoming a familiar and helpful face to all neighbors.
Pastor Eric is passionate about his work with young people. In his previous church, his ministry focused on youth and families. He is also a dedicated coach, having worked with high school football and middle school wrestling programs. He sees coaching as an extension of his ministry, allowing him to build relationships. Growing up in Portage, MI, Pastor Eric is excited to return home to Michigan. He and his wife Rita, an educator, enjoy attending sports events, reading and taking nature hikes with their rescue dog, Hank.
Office Manager: Meena Bhattacharya
Meena Bhattacharya has been the friendly voice on the other end of the line at St. Paul since 1993. She manages the day-to-day business of the church - everything from accounting and scheduling to preparing bulletins and circulating news to the congregation. Meena, a native of New Delhi, India, has lived in Michigan since 1983, when she and her husband moved to Ann Arbor from Corvallis, Oregon. She says some of her friends still don't understand why she's willing to drive 22 miles each way from Ann Arbor - year-round and in all kinds of weather - to work at St. Paul. Meena just smiles and says, "I love working here. The people are very, very nice and very helpful. I think it's the people that bring me here every day."